The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine Review

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Terror in Toussaint

The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Developer: CD Projekt RED
Publisher: CD Projekt RED

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt released a year ago to wide critical and commercial acclaim. While the previous two instalments of the Witcher series saw “Enhanced Editions” released the following year, The Witcher 3 has followed in the footsteps of major publishers offering an ”Expansion Pass” from release. This promised two expansions, the first being Hearts of Stone which released in October last year and now ends with Blood and Wine which released at the end of last month.

I don’t think I have ever played a game with a more accurate title than “Blood and Wine”. Unlike the previous expansion, Blood & Wine offer players a chance to explore an entire new area called France Toussaint. Geralt finds himself there after meeting some knights from the realm who have been sent by the Dutchess Anna Henrietta. He is tasked with hunting down a beast that has killed nobles covering the wine-rich region in blood. As initial payment for his services, Geralt is given a winery and you’re soon able to alternate between following trails of blood and repairing your dilapidated but beautiful winery. Blood & Wine.

Toussaint is a large and gorgeously designed area with plenty to do from the time you arrive. There are new quests, items, monsters, along with new mutations to further develop Geralt. For those interested in the Witcher novels, Blood & Wine brings the character Regis, a friendly, witty and very powerful vampire who first appeared in the novel “Baptism of Fire”. He joins the witcher in the main quest and is certainly the most interesting of the newly introduced characters. This is not to sell the other characters short; especially not the beloved yet ruthless dutchess and her loyal knights.

Much of what I enjoyed most about Blood & Wine revolves around the main quest line which has plenty of intrigues, misdirection and surprises. The choices you make once again play a big role and can change the quests you receive as well as the outcomes. I don’t want to say any more than this as I wouldn’t want to spoil the experience. It will be enough to say that it’s arguably better than the Bloody Baron quest in the base game.\r\n\r\nThere are new secondary quests for witcher armour and having a complete set grants additional buffs. The new mutations are also obtained through a secondary quest which further expands Geralt’s abilities. One I earned grants a chance for Geralt to restores his vitality once depleted which really helped on a few occasions. Another point of interest is an arena to participate in. Many of these introduced during the main quest but there are still plenty to discover while exploring the new land.

Blood and Wine is not significantly different from the main game; it’s just much more of it. If you were satisfied by the original and aren’t craving more then it probably isn’t worth it. If you just want more to do in Witcher 3, especially more quality quests then this is absolutely recommended. What is introduced here fits seamlessly into the main game though you’ll want to be high levelled to experience it. The extra armour, mutations and equipment are also worth earning. This is one of the most expansive and impressive DLCs I’ve ever seen. It’s also the perfect send off for Geralt as CD Projekt RED has said this will be no new content for the game as they focus on their next game, Cyberpunk 2077. If this is the end then it is certainly a great one.

5 Stars

June, 2016

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